In which extrovert non-conformist Dennis Rodman offers North Korean despot Kim Jong-un a visit of an NBA All-Stars basketball team for his birthday. Rodman is an unlikely friend for Kim Jong-un but for reasons which are never confirmed (obviously), the North Korean leader is happy to be seen smiling and hugging Rodman - at least … Continue reading Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in PyongYang
This is for me the best type of documentary, where there is no voice-over trying to explain or manipulate the story, and where the director has taken the sensible decision not to insert themselves into the film at all, leaving the exposition to the subjects themselves.And yet there were a number of occasions where I needed the … Continue reading The Wolfpack
Albert Maysles points a camera at 93 year old style guru Iris Apfel and lets her guide us through her daily life and her wardrobe. What an amazing woman!She maintains an incredible, positive outlook on life and continues to shop for accessories and clothing with an energy that I can only envy. The one slight … Continue reading Iris
Much as I enjoy a good documentary, in the past few years I have struggled with them as I've felt manipulated by a number which others have rated really highly (Stories We Tell and Mistaken For Strangers to name two). Asif Kapadia and his team seem to have found a way around (most of) this … Continue reading Amy
Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing, for all itsgruesomeness, was one of my top films of 2013.This is a companion piece to that, but the emphasis is on the victims rather than the perpetrators. While not quite as punch-you-in-the-face as The Act of Killing (although maybe it would be if you haven't already visited Oppenheimer's … Continue reading The Look of Silence
Oh Al. I do love you, and am more accepting than others of your vanity projects, but this was a curate's egg of an experience. Screened to tie in with a BFI Q&A with stars Al Pacino and Jessica Chastain last Sunday afternoon, the event consisted firstly of the 90 minute drama of Oscar Wilde's play … Continue reading Salomé / Wilde Salomé
Gael Garcia Bernal can always be relied upon to be part of some thought-provoking films. He was in my favourite film of both 2012 (También la Lluvia) and 2013 (No), and with ¿Quién es Dayani Cristal?, he has not let me down this year either. Bernal mixes two strands in this documentary - one presents the … Continue reading ¿Quién es Dayani Cristal? – Who is Dayani Cristal?